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I always enjoy adult panto – and feel that as long as you accept that there will be swearing and naughty references and can just enjoy it for what it is, then it is a good and extremely funny evening out.

This was a well-written pantomime – I liked the concept, with a lot of topical references, although I felt that perhaps Act 2 was a little rushed in the writing, which meant that the rewind didn’t come over quite as it should have done.

I thought the choreography from Jo Heard was very good – it was sharp and interesting, and obviously well-rehearsed.

The sound was mostly good, and lighting was nicely achieved, a shame that the tower was not able to be lit as well as it could have been – I understand the limitations involved though.

The scenery was also good, and as used for the Family Panto.  The tower, (which was relevant for Family did not have relevance for Adult), was used by the Narrator, but at the back of the auditorium we couldn’t really see him very well.

I noticed that costumes were not credited in the programme! – a shame, but I liked the costumes very much, they all looked very good, which added to the look of the production.  However, I was at a loss to know why the Ugly Sisters did not have proper costumes, they looked strange against the other costumes, as they were totally out of period, and could have been so fantastic, but they were very drab.

Dave Hillman as the Narrator did very well, he got into the ethos of adult panto, and interacted well with Buttons and the rest of the cast.  

Josh Thompson did a good job as Buttons on the whole, he reacted well to the audience.

I thought that Debbie Cavanagh as Cinderella gave probably the best performance I have seen from her – she was feisty and very clear in her lib, with good projection, and the blonde wig changed her look extremely well.

Robin Edwards as Prince Charming, in what I understand was his first role on stage, was a revelation, he’d got the attitude and the street talk down to a ‘T’, a very clever ploy from the writers, which he carried out beautifully.  His Dandini Lynda Fagan, also gave us a really good performance, which I enjoyed.

John O’Leary and Richard Alexander as the Ugly Sisters, Ivana and Ivanka, were suitably obnoxious and full on – as the parts deserved.  I think I liked John better as Dick Whittington, there was more scope for him to diversify.  There were some classic put-downs for the Cat!!

Jo Heard was a charming Snow White, I enjoyed her performance, and her choreography was spot on.

I liked Chloe Badham’s Witch – she was very spikey both in speech and appearance, and the green wig set her costume off very nicely.

Ruth Hayden was the laid-back Cat, concentrating on her knitting and eating something strange out of a can – great fun.

The Sheriff of Rottingham was a nasty bit of work, as played by Ben Jaggers, who then took the role of the rather dim Jack later on – both well accomplished.

Katy Elliott reprised her role as Lurch, which she does so well! – I also liked the introduction of a friend for her, as played by Louise Hayden.  It would be interesting to see this relationship explored further in future pantos!!!

Louise also doubled as the back end of the cow, with Lynda up front – I particularly liked it when they reverted to two people in a cow suit for part of a scene, it was very funny.

I thought Kim Albone created a good Marian – she looked lovely, and interacted well with the various men she was looking over as a possible mate!!  Kim also appeared in some scenes as an accomplished Aladdin.

King John, played as a very camp character, allowed John Horley free rein to make contact with the audience, and put a different spin on a regal character, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I thought this was a well cast production, very rude, but extremely enjoyable.  It looked first rate, and was technically sound.


 review date: 14th &15th January 2017

Luton Library Theatre

Directors & Writers:  Richard Alexander & John O’Leary

MD:  Cheryl Desborough      Choreographer:  Jo Heard  

Asst: Kerry Collins

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